It was a good weekend.  Full of remembering.  Full of pondering about life and all that goes into who we are.  All that has made me who I am.

My aunts were always there for each other, and for everyone around them.  They were always so kind and loving to me.  Seeing only one of them left is painful, and is a strong reminder to not waste time on anger or bitterness.  They never did.

I am truly grateful and comforted by the knowledge that this life is not all there is.

This weekend has made all of the mundane things in my mind stop for a time, and has given me a chance to remember who I am, and all that has gone into making me that person.

It has caused me to count my blessings, and to renew my desire for living for what matters.  Life is so fleeting.

There isn’t any time to waste.  There is so much good to be done.  For each of us, that “good” will be different.  But why waste time on things that don’t matter?

Life is just too short for that.

It was a full weekend.  We stopped on the way home by a tiny grave I haven’t visited in a long time.

So many people have suffered so much.  So much more than I have ever had to.

We spent some quiet time washing off the little headstone and clearing some of the grass that had grown over little parts of it.  It was the least I could do.  Such a small thing to do, it almost felt for a moment as though I were silly to think I was helping my tiny sister, or my mother who loves and misses her.

I sat there for a few minutes beside her, looking at her headstone and at the other tiny graves.   My eyes filled with tears at all the pain that so many people have felt, and do feel, in their lives.  Some feel loss, others feel a suffering of a different kind, but so many people suffer.  I felt so small against all of that.

But then I watched my little girls bring their own simple offerings to the grave.  One brought some little green leaves that she thought were 4-leaf-clovers, so the baby could be lucky.  Another brought a pine cone, and another, a pretty stick.

Somehow I felt and knew that Mary smiled.  That she was glad we had come.

And in that moment, I knew that even my small gift, a tiny thing like washing a headstone, made a difference.  It mattered to her.  It mattered to my mother.

Today is my birthday.  It’s a “big” birthday, and has had me thinking more than usual about my life and where I want it to go.  Yes, there are many people hurting.  There are so many problems, and so much sadness.

But my small offering could lift that for someone.  It doesn’t have to be something huge.  It can be as small as a pinecone on a grave.  Yes, there is an almost overwhelming sadness in the world.  But I believe that “earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

How do you know you aren’t meant to be part of that healing?

Do something today.  Something small.  Be kind.  Smile.  Save someone who is hurting or alone, in your own small way.

It seems that lives always change by small, simple things, done by small, simple people.  Just like my life always has.  My aunt changed my life, not by doing anything huge and grand.  But by hugging me, by loving me all the time.  My mother changed my life.  Because she got out of bed every day and did all of the seemingly meaningless things that mean everything.  She still does.

Life is precious.  It becomes more so to me each and every year.  I want it to mean something.  And I think that this is how it will.  By doing the little, seemingly insignificant things.  By giving everything to my children.  By being kind to others.  By doing what I can.

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